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HRC hires state leaders to promote LGBT equality in Mississippi, Alabama

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign has announced the hiring of two more state leaders as part of its Project One America campaign to promote LGBT equality in three deeply conservative southern states.

Rob Hill

Rob Hill

Ashley Jackson

Ashley Jackson

Rob Hill, a former clergyman, will lead the HRC’s efforts in Mississippi, and Ashley Jackson, co-founder of the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition, will lead the HRC in Alabama.

Hill has served as a United Methodist pastor for the past 12 years. He most recently led Broadmeadow United Methodist Church in Jackson for nine years. Jackson was born and raised in Mississippi and moved to Alabama to work for the Southern Poverty Law Center as the LGBT liaison.

In connection with the announcements, the HRC released results of its surveys into the needs, experiences, and priorities of the LGBT communities in Mississippi and Alabama.

In Mississippi, 24 percent of survey respondents said they have experienced employment discrimination and 38 percent have experienced harassment at work; 22 percent have experienced harassment monthly or more at their respective houses of worship and a third of LGBT students in rural areas have experienced harassment in school on a weekly basis. (Full Mississippi results.)

In Alabama, the survey found that 41 percent of LGBT workers are not open with everyone in the workplace due to fear they will not be considered for advancement or development opportunities; 40 percent have experienced harassment in public establishments; and half have experience harassment at school. (Full Alabama results.)

Earlier this week, the HRC announced it had hired Kendra Johnson as its state director in Arkansas.

HRC’s “Project One America” is a three-year, $8.5 million campaign to promote LGBT equality and push for new legal protections in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, three Southern states dominated by conservative politics and religion.

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